Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Baltimore Colts or Stallions(CFL)
Owner Jim Speros' approach was simple: he knew that Canadian football was different from the American game, and therefore made a point of hiring personnel and players with CFL experience. Speros made Jim Popp general manager of the new team, and named the legendary Don Matthews as head coach. Popp and Matthews, in turn, brought in experienced players like QB Tracy Ham, RB Mike Pringle, LB O. J. Brigance, DT Jerald Bayliss, DE Elfrid Payton and former National Football League veteran K Donald Igwebuike. However, the franchise quickly ran into trouble, becoming known as the "team without a name." Speros had started calling his new franchise the Baltimore CFL Colts and the NFL sued because of possible public confusion with their Indianapolis Colts, who had played in Baltimore from 1953 until 1984. The lawsuit (which the NFL won) forced a name change, and the franchise became known as the Baltimore Football Club (Baltimore F.C.), sometimes called the Baltimore CFLers. The team's fan base resisted the change; for most of the '94 season, the public address announcer at Memorial Stadium would announce the team as "your Baltimore CFL..." followed by a pause, during which time the assembled fans would shout "Colts!", and after which the stadium announcer would conclude, "...football team."